Halloween with Killjoy’s Kastle, a lesbian feminist haunted house
Halloween is usually the time when ghosts and ghouls come out to play. But there’s a haunted house in California that’s more tongue-in-cheek than scream-filled. Welcome to Killjoy’s Kastle, the first “sex positive, trans inclusive, queer lesbian-feminist-fear-fighting celebration” of Halloween.
Organized by ONE Archives in West Hollywood, Killjoy’s Kastle: A Lesbian Feminist Haunted House is a reaction to radical evangelical groups who build hell houses that showcase gruesome retribution for the sins of fornication, abortion, suicide, occultism, and same-sex relationships.
Visitors to Killjoy’s Kastle will get to enjoy a unique group-guided performance that lasts a half-hour, tops. What’s more, admission is free.
Enjoy Killjoy’s Kastle
Killjoy’s Kastle is a project of the Toronto based-artists Deirdre Logue and Allyson Mitchell, a “haunted house of freaky feminist skill sharing and paranormal consciousness-raising” that’s supposed to pervert, and not to convert.
What’s more, it’s supposed to relate the lesbian herstory with all its wonders and thorny complications. As their website notes, prepare to meet “gender-queer apparitions, ball-busting butches, never-married, happy-as-hell spinsters, riot ghouls, and radical vampiric grannies.”
Your tour guide for this haunted house will be a women’s studies adjunct professor who will be more than glad to escort you through the “ground-up, maximalist, not-to-be-missed haunted house” that was nailed, knit, and glued by “a coven of dedicated feminists” to provide a rare glimpse into this “dystopic/utopic craftivist world-view.”
Creators of Killjoy’s Kastle
Killjoy’s Kastle was created Logue and Mitchell. Logue is known for her film and video work, using ‘performance for the camera’ she investigates what it means to be a queer body in an age of anxiety.
She’s produced more than 60 short films and videos as well as some of this country’s most celebrated video art installations. These include Enlightened Nonsense, Why Always Instead of Just Sometimes, Id’s Its, and Euphoria’s Hiccups.
On the other hand, Mitchell is a maximalist artist who works in sculpture, performance, installation and film. She melds feminism and pop culture that focuses on contemporary ideas about sexuality, autobiography and the body. She works largely through the use of reclaimed textile and abandoned craft.
From these, she’s come up with a coven of lesbian feminist Sasquatch monsters, a room-sized Vagina Dentata, an army of super genius Holly Hobbies, and a woodland utopic library complete with a wishing well of forbidden political knowledge.
Her works have been exhibited in galleries and festivals across Canada, the US and Europe. These include Tate Modern, the Textile Museum of Canada, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, the Andy Warhol Museum, Walker Art Center, The British Film Institute, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Supporting Killjoy’s Kastle
KillJoy’s Kastle: A Lesbian Feminist Haunted House is a collaboration with– and created through the financial support of– the Art Gallery of York University of Toronto.
What’s more, support for KillJoy’s Kastle was provided by the City of West Hollywood through its Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission. Additional support was also provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the ONE Archives Foundation.